Tough Mudder

IMG_0386Over the last couple of months, we’ve been helping a team of “Toughies” get ready for Tough Mudder, Hamburg, October 2014.

It’s one of the most hardcore obstacle courses on the race circuit. At around 18km in length, it’s not for the faint-hearted. In addition to that lengthy run, Mudders have to deal with elements such as ice, walls, electric-shocks, and, of course, mud. It’s not just a physical event, but a test of character too.

We designed 16 training sessions over a period of 2 months to incorporate all the necessary elements that would prepare the team for this endurance event. Not only did they need to be physically fit, they needed to be agile, strong and used to digging deep when the going gets really tough.

2014-08-16 09.34.42As we live and work in a European Capital City, and even though Berlin is famous for its beautiful forests and lakes, and of course, the remains of a rather large wall, we were not going to be training on terrain that would directly compare to  a Tough Mudder course. However, we like a challenge, and part of the fun of these sessions were the locations we used to find the urban features that could mimic the obstacles the guys would face during their event.2014-08-16 09.22.07

In playgrounds we used ropes, ladders, balance beams, climbing structures, sand running.

City Parks provided steps – 104 mean, long, steep, consecutive steps, hill running, monkey bars, trails and flaktowers

2014-08-19 08.48.40

Running tracks were for speed and agility.

At the office we concentrated on body-weight strength training, Tabata intervals and High Intensity Interval Training (HITT).

Plus, the hundreds of equipment free exercises that all added up to an intense training program that challenged their heart, lungs and muscles.

We asked the guys what they thought of the whole experience:

 What was the best part of the event?
“Finishing! But I most enjoyed the Double Mud Mile. Sliding into and climbing out of mud is fantastic”
“….3 days after when the soreness started to settle”
“The camaraderie!”
How would you rate the atmosphere and organisation of the event?
“….well-organised. Everyone was very excited and pumped to be starting”.
“… the atmosphere was great. Good warm up at the beginning, was nice to have a crowd at the obstacles and everyone was helpful and nice”
3. What was the worst part of the event?
“The 12ft walls were just soul-crushing, and incredibly difficult”.
“Sean breaking his fingers”.
“The electric wire… hands down”
4. Would you enter another obstacle race?
“Yes!”
“Yeah I probably will. But I’m good for now…”
“I’d love to do another obstacle race that doesn’t require electricity”.
5. Why did you choose to use a trainer building up to the event?
“I started training for my physical well-being… I didn’t expect to feel good enough to enter the race, so was happy that my fitness progressed quickly enough to enter.
“To ensure I got into shape before undertaking this kind of activity…a smart training plan to achieve my desired results. Without it I would have been too disorganised, lacking on commitment and probably wouldn’t have achieved the same level of fitness”
“Just needed an additional bit of motivation”.
6. How would you rate the training your received?
“On a scale of 10 to 20 push-ups, it was a fun 18… 19… 20!”
“While I did not attend all of the sessions, the ones I did attend were great and they really pushed you. With Lucy’s help, you get to target different aspects of your fitness and are well prepared for the event”.
“9/10″.

 

Obstacle endurance event races have become extremely popular, so it’s now pretty easy to find one taking place not far from where you live. Tough Mudder is one of the biggest, more established, worldwide events, but if you prefer something a little shorter or a slightly different focus, look out for Spartan (3 different events ranging from 5km to 20km course), Tough Guy, X Runner, Zombie Evacuation (complete with Zombies), Total Warrior, Survival of the Fittest (Urban 10km), Mud Masters (Germany), Braveheart Battle (Germany), Strongman Run (Germany).

We’d like to send out a huge thank you to the “Tough Guys” for sending us their feedback and providing a race report, for taking part in all those challenging training sessions, and for making the whole process thoroughly enjoyable and good fun. Next time, we promise to be in it with you!

Congratulations.

IMG_0592

 Hamburg, October 2014. They did it!

Trail Run Berlin

2014-09-14 11.54.39The Mueggelturm, located to the south of the Mueggelsee lake. 2014-09-14 11.33.06The tower is situated on Berlin’s highest natural elevation at 115m. It doesn’t sound that high really. Just a couple of lengths and a bit of my local pool, stuck end to end then placed upright. Seems OK for a 10km race.

Last Sunday we took part in Trailrun Berlin, a relatively new event, this is its second year. It’s also relatively small, with just over 300 participants.

It wasn’t clear how best to arrive. Public transport required an S-Bahn train and then a bus, but, it wasn’t obvious how frequently the buses run, or how close it would get us to the start line, or more importantly, did it even operate on Sundays? With huge gratitude another Urban Foxer had signed up for the event, who generously rented a car, solving all our public transport concerns. We swiftly arrived from Prenzlauer Berg’s city surroundings, to thick forests in about 30 minutes.

2014-09-14 11.03.04

A short walk up hill brought us to the compact event village where we collected our race numbers and rather fetching free socks! We an hour to wait before the start, so we passed the time calculating how to attach lace-fixed timing chips to elastic laces, and observing all the trail-related kit surrounding us. Plenty of professionals in this event. Vibram 5 fingers, Salomon trail shoes, compression socks and all manner of professional timing devices. I took my trusty Addidas Goretex shoes anticipating some soggy mud after the early morning downpour. I like them, they have great grip, but they do tend to make my feet hot.

2014-09-14 10.36.27Interesting that our race numbers included a motivational message. It would soon become apparent the race organiser was offering some support and advice.

The run started promptly at midday and led us over a short cobbled hill and straight into the forest paths. The ground was soft and firm, littered with autumnal leaves reminding us another Berlin winter is on its way.

The terrain undulated from the outset and by 3km we turned a corner to face the steps back up to the event village. There were 111 in total, staggered in sections of 8 steps. 2014-09-14 12.15.53Now, we are used to training on the stretch of steps in our local Volkspark which provides us with a lofty 104 consecutive steps, so we were feeling comfortable and confident. Yet the last 3 sections were very tough on the thighs, and it was only through grit and determination that my legs carried me over the top, thinking only of the stretch of downhill I will soon reach in return for my climbing effort.

A short stretch of tarmac led us back to the forest trails, which undulated through various degrees of difficulty. Some stretches were too steep to run, however, each down hill allowed us enough time to recover ready for the next effort.

The scenery was stunning. Protected by the cover of old forest trees and soaring pines, the dappled sunlight created a warm, welcoming light, while temperatures remained comfortably in the high teens. At one point we passed the banks of Tuefelsee, a small lake with high reeds, board-walks and more pine trees. It was a spectacular view, and I really wished I’d paused for a photo, but at close to the 7km mark, I wanted to keep going strong and steady. The trails ranged from wide paths to single file tracks. Sand, roots, leaves and firm ground underfoot kept our feet dry and trouble-free.

The final push to the steps for one last time really challenged us, our thighs burning, willing us to stop, then with wobbly knees, one final push across the finish line.

Organisers provided apples, bananas, water a coca cola for the all the finishers. It was hard to believe it was all over.

This race was a real escape from the city. We can highly recommend it to any running fan. You don’t have to be experienced to run the trails, or have a predetermined level of fitness. We enjoy the change of scenery. Pounding pavements can become very repetitive, and being out in the countryside is great for the mind and can really inspire you.

Why not look out for your next local trail run and see where the adventure takes you.

Find the Trail Run Berlin 10km route here

 

 

Tierpark 10km

Sunday’s Tierpark 10km was looking really good. After a cooler few weeks here in Berlin, we were suddenly being treated with a late burst of summer. Earlier on that morning, we were working with some clients, feeling positive and energised by the warmer temperatures. After all, yesterday had been a glorious day. Thermometers hitting 26 degrees.
2014-09-07 15.00.57This 10km event started later in the day, and with a staggered start time, depending on whether you were in the 5km race, or the one of the two later 10km starts. For us, it was 13:45 before we needed to be at the start line.

By this time, the thermometers were back in party mode. The sun was still shining, and the forecasted thunder storms and rain clouds were not yet ready to make their entrance.

To be honest, we cut it a bit fine to reach the start line. Tierpark is in the Eastern side of the city. A few stops by U5 from Frankfurter Tor. Not really that far from home, but the rather lengthy walk from the U-Bahn station to the start line managed to consume most of the “extra” time we had set aside to wander aimlessly through the event village. We arrived with 10 minutes to spare. threw our kit into the bag store, briefly pausing at the Dixi-loo before rushing through a few warm up moves and dashing to the start line with 30 seconds to spare.

2014-09-07 13.42.30

This event took us right through the heart of the park (and through parts where visitors aren’t allowed). We passed Polar Bears, Brown Bears, Black Panthers, Deer, and many more. The route was flat, and almost half of it was shady, but when we weren’t protected by the trees, the temperatures really were soaring. By the the end of the race the thermometer was nudging 27 degrees. My head was pounding. The water point at 5kms was a welcome sight, but completely underestimating my needs meant my body could not cope with the challenge combined with the lack of fluid.

As with all these larger events, getting across the start line was slow, but thankfully the wide paths allowed most of us a pretty trouble free route allowing us to pick up to race pace soon into the 1st km. The first half of the race went OK, although we hoped to clock less than 27 minutes by the time we reached the water point, and at this point, my dry throat was already warning me I was already too 2014-09-07 14.00.10dehydrated. It was from about 7km that my head started pounding, my surroundings becoming slightly blurred, and despite being determined to get through without stopping, it made sense to take a few short walking breaks.

The course through the zoo to the finish line was lined with supporters cheering us on. But the most welcome sight was the final water point. In fact, all I could think about was water….water…water!2014-09-07 14.52.21

So, we finished. We didn’t achieve a 10km PB, so we’ll save that for another race. There’s still some work to be done on our speed training and hill practice, so for now, we’ll be happy we survived without getting sunstroke. It’s time to focus on our next challenge.

If you haven’t visited Tierpark Zoo before, then we can highly recommend adding it to your “must see” list. It is the poor relation to Tiergarten Zoo on the western side of the city, yet we feel it offers a prettier landscape, bigger enclosures and more space for everyone – people and animals. There are often newspaper reports of it’s threatened closure due to lacking funds and high overheads. We should all visit it more often and help to increase those much needed revenues.

2014-09-07 15.07.33

 

 

 

Happily tucking into my (alcohol free) post-race Berliner Pilsner 

 

 

We Own The Night 2014

IMAG1839

We came, we saw, we didn’t quite “Own” it, but we had a great time all the same!

It’s fair to say, we’ve been pretty excited about Nike’s women only running event for a while, and although it was disappointing to discover the route would follow the same paths most of our training runs take, let’s face it, half the fun of running is finding new routes, terrain and scenery, it was still exciting to enter the event village at the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark on Friday night.IMAG1821

The warm-up dragged on a bit. Supposed to start at 20:30hrs, but finally got underway at 20:55, by which time, the sun was setting and the chills kicking in. Still, Nike recovered it by turning up the stereo and got us moving to some seriously good tunes, then we were off. The route took us through Mauerpark, where crowds had gathered to cheer us on,then under our first bridge and a tingle of excitement to see it stage-lit in pinks and purples. A couple of bridges to climb, then a downhill and under the steels of Bornholmer Strasse bridge where Kiss FM had kindly staged a make-shift nightclub complete with disco balls and loud tunes. It soon became clear how motivating the music could be, and it’s certain most runners passed through with a smile on their face.

The route continued north through the beautiful, quiet residential streets of Pankow, where neighbours hung from balconies cheering us on, and kids waved by the roadside, staying up late to take in this crazy spectacle of thousands of female runners dressed in blue.IMAG1823

At km 4, the route double-backed in itself, giving us a 2nd chance to disco through Bornholmer Strasse, and face the hilly bridges we had already run once. Happily, hill running is one of our favourite sessions, so we’re always determined to keep the arms driving, powering our legs up and over the inclines. The crowds had really grown by this point, and it felt good to hear the friendly cheers of the Friday-night-revelers. Once back into Mauerpark, one last hill took us up to what remains of the Berlin Wall here, around the athletics stadium, through clouds of dry ice and under the finish line right where we had started.

It wasn’t a course for personal bests, there were just too many people and the route was too narrow. However, it meant we finished with fuel in the tank, ready for the post race party.

IMAG1822Now, sorry Nike, but the after-party did not quite meet our expectations. A DJ set in the Max Schmeling Halle was full of promises, but a volleyball-court did an excellent impression of the world’s saddest disco, and even at 10:30pm, none of those girls were going to get off the stands to be the first one to break the dancing ice. This is Berlin, and maybe they did dance later on and well into the night, who knows. But, it wasn’t just the dance floor that gave us the jitters. The food counters in the sports hall were so bad, it was embarrassing. When society is becoming more overweight, with people becoming less and less physically active, what hope is there when the food outlets in a sports venue only offer junk food. We saw hotdogs, sweet and salted popcorn, currywurst, artificially coloured iced drinks, and racks and racks of sugary snacks. Guys, we’ve just run 10kms, we are expecting some nutritional value in our refueling package. Sorry, but we are off to the nearest bar to toast our efforts over a glass of bubbly (or two).IMAG1830

Please bring the run back to Ploetzensee. Last year’s event was so pretty. Not only did the route stay mostly on trails, through a really pretty park, the event village nestled in the trees and the after party at the Strandbad were a perfect way to end the night.

 

 

 

 

31st Avon Women’s Run Berlin

IMAG1760-1On Saturday 10th May the 31st Avon Womens Running event took place, closing the main avenue that leads up to the Brandenburg Gate, and filling it with a sea of pink. The event lasted pretty much the whole day, starting off with a 5km walk, Nordic walk and run. The 10km event came later, kicking off at 6pm.

IMAG1729It is a massive event. With an entry limit of 18,000, it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see so many there. Race kit collection was an efficient operation at Karstadt Sport in Joachimstaler Str. Each entrant received a pink Addidas t-shirt, race number and timing chip.

IMAG1755The pre-race warm up by Hard Candy Fitness had the crowds swinging their hips in a Salsa style, followed by a more traditional runners-specific routine with some great motivational beats.

The course certainly wasn’t record breaking. Weaving through Berlin’s main city park, Tiergarten, it was soon evident the pathways were not wide enough for the amount of runners. Those trying to get through the masses had to weave around the slower runners, avoiding trees, bins and signposts. Upcoming water stations had to be negotiated tactically. I personally don’t need fluid on a 10k, so once I’d worked out where the 2 stations were, I decided to go wide of the tables and managed to avoid a fatal trip over a cup or fellow runner!

The course sent us back down Strasse des 17 Juni, where the big crowds cheered us on. It’s so great to hear the roar of the supporters, whatever distance you run. Our race numbers had our first names printed on the front, so if you were really lucky, someone would call your name too. This doubles the motivation as far as I am concerned!

Heading past the Brandenburg Gate for the last time, the finish line came into sight. A medal for each runner, then tables of water, followed by herbal tea, and then, of course, the Erdinger (alcohol free) Beer stands. This is a sight that never fails to impress me. This is Germany after all.

IMAG1763I finished in 52:14. Not my fastest time, but I’m pretty happy to have survived without a fatal stumble.
Lucy

 

Buggy-Fit

Buggy image onlyOur Buggy-Fit exercise classes are specifically for new Mums who want to exercise safely, effectively and confidently after birth, with their baby.

Aimed at every fitness level, the classes offer ladies a chance to workout outside, with their child by their side. 

It is important to keep fit after birth, to help your body cope with the physical demands of being a new mum. These postnatal classes include everything you need to improve your fitness levels and get your body back in shape. 

The classes are run by Lucy, a qualified Pre and Post Natal Fitness Instructor, and a mother of 2 boys.

Our Classes:

Each class lasts 1 hour and will include

  • Warm up (to prepare your body for the workout)
  • Light, fat-burning cardio moves with your buggy
  • Strengthening exercises to improve posture and work muscles
  • Pelvic floor training
  • Mat based abdominal and back exercises
  • Stretching to cool down.

Why join us?

  • Exercise helps you regain your pre-pregnancy fitness level (and help lose the baby weight),
  • Re-align your abdominal muscles safely (using recommended exercise techniques, so your workout stays safe and effective)
  • Strengthen your pelvic floor (reduce the risk of symptoms of stress-incontinence)
  • Strengthen, stretch and relieve tension (targeting pregnancy-related muscles and those areas that are over-worked as a new mum)
  • Meet other Mums and share experiences, problems and ideas.
  • Because getting outside and working out really does give you a sense of well-being.
  • Because we all have children and understand the journey you are on.

When is it safe to start exercising after birth?

If you had a natural delivery, then you can start exercising carefully from around 6 weeks after the birth.

If you had a C-section delivery, then it is advisable to wait at least 12 weeks.

We always advise checking with your Doctor and/or midwife/health visitor first.

What should I bring?

Make sure your baby is wrapped up appropriately for the weather. Carry a rain-cover, just in case a shower starts during class. If it does rain, we aim to shelter under trees where possible.

For floor exercises, you will need a mat. Nothing fancy, a blanket will do. Just a covering that is big enough to lie down on.

Your clothes should be comfortable, stretchy, and layered, in case you get hot. A sensible pair of trainers is advisable (no hidden heel inserts please!).

What if my baby is hungry?

We understand babies can’t be expected to wait for a feed, and you can feed your child during the class, that’s not a problem.

How much is a class?

Your first class is FREE!

Pay on the day price is now only €5 per class!!

Payment can be made in cash on the day.

Where are the classes?

Our first class takes place in Tiergarten on Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 10am. If you wish to join us, please use our contact form to secure a place and we will send you details of the meeting point.

I have a health condition – what should I do?

We ask all our clients to complete a short Health Screening Questionnaire and registration form before they start exercising with us.

Any particular health conditions should be highlighted in this questionnaire and discussed with your fitness instructor.

If you have been advised by your GP to take up physical activity, then a medical note is also useful for your trainer.

 

CycleLove

cyclelove_jamesgreig_ivyleagueWe are always trying to find ways to help you make fitness part of your everyday life, and not just a part of your work-out routine, so this week, our hot tip is to spend a little bit of your spare time browsing CycleLove‘s website.

CycleLove is more about people on bikes, not “cyclists”, and their mission is to bring you the very best in cycle culture with art, design, style and heritage.

Founder, James Greig told us “There are lots of cycling blogs about the professional sport which celebrate the suffering and the pain and the glory, and lots which are campaigning for improved cycling safety infrastructure, but I felt there was nothing in the middle, for normal people riding bikes”.

James started out as a Graphic designer, but soon fell out of love with his job. When he started taking photo’s of cyclists around London, he needed somewhere to put them, so he began blogging. It has all developed from there. Now you can find weekly blogs, an online shop, and even a A-Z of London cycle friendly shops, cafes or other cycling related venues

His first T-shirt order was delivered by bike – over 100 miles from London to Peterborough, in person. No specialist kit, no back-up crew, no water stations, just James and his bike, on a mission.

“…. the humble bike can enable you to do big things. You don’t need special equipment. You don’t (most of the time) need lycra, or high visibility clothing, or carbon fibre bottle cages. You just need to get out there on your bike and enjoy the ride.”

So, if you have a bike, and it’s a little lonely, why not take it out for a spin this weekend. Who knows where, who cares. Enjoy it, cycling is fun, and yes, of course, it keeps you fit too!

CycleLove is celebrating its 2nd Birthday tomorrow evening at Look Mum No Hands (EAST). Follow the link for more information.

Happy Birthday CycleLove!

Blonde

Lexie BlondeKit really doesn’t have to be boring, and the lovely brand Lexie has managed to prove this yet again.

This new print was inspired by the colour of ‘blonde’ hair, it’s reflective and moving qualities, whilst the collection also incorporates Lexie’s geometric patterns inspired by the Art Deco period.

All the garments are made with technical fabrics. Stretch mesh panels allow the body to breath and give freedom of movement. Seams are angled, carefully placed to reduce abrasions. Hoods fit snugly, thanks to a 3 point design detail. Longer lengths mean your garment covers well, fits comfortably and allows freedom of movement. Reflective tape also features heavily in the designs giving them a practical day to night edge.

Founder Lily Rice is a (UK) home-grown designer, who has recently been named one of Draper magazine’s 30 under 30 for 2014. She is now flying the flag for UK manufacturing too, by ensuring all the products are made on her home soil.

“We decided to make the move to British manufacturing as we wanted to really feel the quality in the styles. The product is designed, sampled, photographed and made in Britain so it really is British Sportswear.”

Blonde will be available for Pre order from the end of January at www.lexiesport.co.uk.

Drops of ‘Blonde’ will be made throughout the year and the collection will retail both online and instore, with Lexie already retailing at The Kings Road Sporting ClubLuxfix.com and Youngbritishdesigners.com.

blonde2

Top Trends

The fitness market is huge, and an overwhelming choice is now available to us. It’s sometimes too difficult to choose. With specialised studios, boot-camps, high intensity workouts, health and wellness apps, there’s something out there to suit everyone.

Here are our favourites, including some new projects to entice you:

ntc1. Tech:   Maintaining your fitness routine at home or when you are travelling doesn’t have to be tough. Whether you decide to download the Nike Training Club app or purchasing a deck of cards from FitDeck, staying fit when you’re away keeps getting easier!

Nike’s app allows you to select your level, decide if you want to lose weight, build muscle, or perhaps just get into a routine. You can add in running targets, yoga, and even stretching sessions. Connect it to your favourite playlists or even iTunes, and you are ready to go. It follows a progressive, targeted program, and is always on the move with you. So wherever you are, it’s really easy to make sure you keep up the routine.

crossfit2. Crossfit:  The Crossfit boxes are growing… like crazy! According to FitMapped, the New York metro area has 18 CrossFit boxes. High-intensity interval training is an ongoing trend for 2014 as predicted by the American College of Sports Medicine and these studios offer just that. The aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness. Also to note, CrossFit-type programs provide training for obstacle challenges such as Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. If you are in need of group motivation, then this is the place for you.

Contact us3. Online Workouts: Several concepts have emerged in the past year providing users the ability to workout anywhere, anytime in a virtual manner. Companies such as Gymagogo and Daily Burn offer a variety of online fitness programming allowing fitness at home to become more popular. Brands that have brick and mortar studios are also offering online workout content, e.g., Physique 57.

Urban Fox Fitness offers clients short video workouts straight to your in-box, giving you the freedom to work out at home, with a trainer you know and trust. Our Skype workouts allow you to log in, and take part in live, video-streamed workouts. So wherever you are, we can be with you, helping you to become fitter and healthier.

hardcandy4. Lifestyle Fitness: Clubs like Hard Candy (from Madonna) are revolutionising the high street gym scene. Aiming to make working out sexy, cool and fun, Hard Candy has become a global luxury fitness brand.  One cardio class uses dance moves from Madonna’s music videos, while “Off the Wall” yoga has participants dangling off the ground on cords. The luxury environment is not for those on a budget, however, members can receive a level of service and quality one would expect Madonna is used to.There are 8 gyms in the portfolio now. There will certainly be more!

frameIn Shoreditch, London, Frame’s ethos is about making fitness fun, hanging out with your mates, and a more laid back approach . All their classes are designed so you can drop by any time and try something new, or get fit by doing something you normally wouldn’t (like Bend it like Barbie or Jane Fonda style aerobics). You can either be a member or just rock up, it’s totally up to you. With your Frame card you can benefit from all their great classes and services, and even get exclusive discounts on their favorite clothing, skincare and health food brands, as well as local bars and restaurants.

We love their flexible pricing policy. Choose from Pay-as-You Go, a pre-pay style Top-Up Card, or All-Inclusive Membership. So you don’t even have to opt for a bank-busting long term membership.

So, now the new year is well and truly here, we think there’s plenty of great ways to get active. Why not try one of these ideas, and see if you can get motivated to keep fit and healthy this year :)

Jump into January

January is already here, and we are all thinking about how to have the best year yet.

It is tough getting back into a health and fitness routine, particularly after the excesses of Christmas, parties and catching up with friends and family. Here are a few positive changes you can apply to your daily routine to help you make a fit and healthy fresh start this year….

Hot Water & Lemon  hotwaterlemonStart with a gentle detox in the morning by adding a cup of warm water with lemon as soon as you wake up. It helps boost the immune system and improves the metabolism.

Swap ‘Bad’ Carbs for Good Carbs  Many people believe that avoiding carbs is the key to achieving successful weight loss, however carbohydrates are important. They provide our bodies with fuel it needs for physical activity and proper organ function. Carbs are broken down in to sugars and released into the blood stream. When they are consumed sugar is rapidly released into the blood stream providing a burst of energy. This sudden sugar rush is too much for the body to make use of so any excess is then turned into fat, leaving you with a sudden drop in blood sugar. This will leave you feeling tired, hungry and craving more sugar. This is why it is important to swap the fast release carbohydrates such as sugar and cakes and white bread/rice/pasta to slow release or complex carbohydrate like whole grain cereals, wholemeal bread/pasta, brown rice, fruits and vegetables. These healthier carbs’ are much more complex in structure than simple sugars and take longer to be digested and absorbed. They provide you with a slow-release source of energy which will help you feel fuller for longer, provide you with consistent energy and help prevent chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Eat healthy  Making the right food choices now and every day this January will get you into a good routine and really will help your body recover from Christmas excesses. Try to reduce the amount of meat you eat, substituting for fish instead, and load up your plate with lots of colourful veg. Why not try a new veg each week. We love to find something seasonal from the supermarket veg isle, then once at home search Google for recipes to help us create new, tasty alternative meals.

Cut Down on Alcohol  There’s not better time than January to cut back. Alcohol is packed with sugar, which can be fattening and ageing (not to mention when hungover, exercise gets pushed even further away). Time to keep alcohol limited to the weekends and even then – drink responsibly.

Get an App  There are so many phone apps available these days, it’s hard not to find something that could work for you. appWhether you want to track your sleep patterns, activity levels, record your food intake, find a workout, there really is something for everyone out there, for every device. Google Play or iTunes is the place to look. Always check the ratings first.

Get a Trainer  This really is one of the best ways to approach exercise. With customised training sessions, you will achieve results much faster when your sessions focus on what your body needs.Throwing yourself into a new workout schedule in the new year after not doing anything for a month (or two!) you will need a bit of guidance on what and how to achieve your fitness goals. This is when having a trainer is essential. A good trainer will always listen to your personal goals, will create workouts based on the best type of exercise for you, will ensure each session is progressive, balanced, tailored and yes, even fun, and if you are really lucky, they will make sure every session offers you something new. The trainer can gives you an estimate of how long it will take your body to achieve the results you want and will also advise you on what to eat. Make it easier on yourself, let someone guide you.

We are offering €10 off an individual training session this January, so get in touch, get active, get healthy!